Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport Technical Director James Allison was under no illusions of where his team was following the Belgian Grand Prix, admitting that Scuderia Ferrari were not only the faster team, but were able to pull away on both tyre compounds.
Ferrari had looked to be the quicker team in the run up to qualifying, but Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was able to take an emphatic pole position thanks to a late rain shower in the third qualifying session. With Hamilton on pole and staunch title rival and Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel second on the grid, we looked set for a race-long battle between two four-time World Champions driving for two teams. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.
Vettel scythed passed Hamilton less than half-way into the first lap, and held this advantage right the way to the end of the race – eventually beating the Brit by over eleven seconds.
Speaking on Sunday, Allison said that the team’s performance (or lack thereof) means they have some serious work to do ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
“There’s no way of dressing it up today: we were well beaten by a quicker team, who were able to stretch away from us on both tyres throughout the stint. It was very disappointing after yesterday’s qualifying performance and what we believed our performance would be in the dry, to find today that we did not have the pace that we thought.
“Both drivers delivered good performances but neither of them had the car under them to do more today; we have some work on our hands in order to take the fight to Ferrari in Monza and the remaining races this year.”
Despite losing the win Mercedes still hold the advantage in the Constructors’ Championship by fifteen points, thanks to a retirement for Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen.